Don’t Worry Because the Government Have Done One For You
Are you one of those people who has been meaning to get round to doing your will, but never seem to find the time? Well I have some good news for you: the government has written a default Will for you! And the bad news? Here’s what it says…
To My Family
I hereby leave you all several months – and maybe years – of financial hardship and hassle, whilst you go to unnecessary efforts to sort out my affairs.
Without a will, it can take up to 2 years to sort out your affairs and distribute the estate.
To My Spouse
I hereby leave you most (but maybe not all) of everything that I own.
If you have no will, a surviving spouse is only entitled to the first £250,000 of your assets. The rest of your estate goes elsewhere.
To My Partner
I hereby leave you nothing. Oh, and by the way, even if you are the father of my children, you do NOT have an automatic right to become their guardian.
Without a will, your surviving partner has absolutely no automatic right to any of your assets. And as tragically unfair as it is, if you are unmarried the law does not automatically recognise the children’s natural father as their legal guardian – just at the time when the youngsters really need their Dad.
To My Spouse’s New Husband / Wife
I hereby leave you all the assets that should rightfully have gone to my children.
If your surviving spouse remarries, then dies, his or her entire estate can go to their new husband or wife. In this surprisingly common situation, your children may be entitled to nothing.
To the Social Services
If my children are orphaned, I give you the authority of full guardianship over them. I also give you the power to decide who should look after them, which includes allocating them to foster parents.
If you make no will, and you both die, your extended family are in for a shock: they will want to look after your children, but the courts and social workers will decide who becomes their new parents, not your family.
To My Children
See above (Sorry about that, I really did mean to get round to doing my will one day).
To the Local Authority
In the event of my surviving spouse going into care, I hereby give you the home that I worked so hard for. If you make a will, you can have your surviving spouse (or partner, if you are joint owners) only own half the property, and make your children joint owners. Therefore if your spouse needs to go and live in a care home, the local authority is only entitled to half of the property.
To My Bank and/or Solicitor
I hereby give you the authority to charge my estate whatever you feel is necessary to sort out the mess I leave behind. I fully realise this could make you one of the major beneficiaries of my estate. Banks charge between 3% and 7% of the value of your estate to sort out your estate. Solicitors typically charge £175 + VAT per hour to do this.
To Everyone Else
I hereby leave you nothing.
Deedsafe Wills can guide you through the process of preparing your will, taking into account your individual needs.